Pipe condition assessment methods that are revolutionising the industry

Pipelines are the lifelines of various industries, including oil and gas, water supply and wastewater management. 

If you work in these industries, how do you guarantee the integrity of your pipelines? What pipe condition assessment methods do you use? 

This blog will look at some innovative pipeline condition assessment methods in more detail. 

Pipeline condition assessment: the need for innovation

The importance of pipeline condition assessment cannot be overstated. 

Ageing infrastructure, increased demands on pipelines and the presence of different pipeline hazards make it important to continuously monitor the condition of these assets. 

For example, there are still thousands of miles of old Victorian cast iron trunk mains in use in the UK’s existing water infrastructure. Due to the material that they are made from, these types of pipes can be difficult to perform condition reports on. 

Traditionally, routine inspections involved physically inspecting pipelines, which was time-consuming, expensive, and often limited in scope. 

Embracing technology: pipe condition assessment methods

However, the advent of advanced technology has opened up new avenues for assessing pipeline conditions, transforming the industry.

These new methods are driven by advanced sensors and imaging technology that can be inserted directly into the pipeline, allowing for real-time assessment of pipe conditions. 

They can detect defects, corrosion, and various other issues without the need for extensive excavation, minimising downtime and costs.

At NDT Group, we often use a range of methods, detailed below, in conjunction with one another to ensure a full assessment of your pipeline. We always do this in a timely manner, ensuring high-quality results with a quick turnaround. 

Interested in seeing how this works in practice? 

Read our case study on pipeline condition monitoring here. 

1. Corrosion mapping 

Corrosion mapping is a vital technique for assessing the extent and severity of corrosion in industrial equipment and structures. Different methods are used to build up a map of the corrosion of your components. 

This involves using advanced imaging technologies, such as ultrasonic or electromagnetic methods, to create detailed maps of corroded areas. 

This data aids in targeted repairs, prolonging the life of assets and ensuring safety. 

At NDT Group, we offer RMS Corrosion mapping of large-diameter pipes and we accurately map the corrosion levels within your pipe network. 

Our robotic crawler allows us to access assets remotely and uses Ultrasonic testing to create a mapped image of corrosion over a given dimension. 

2. Eddy current inspection 

Eddy Current Inspection relies on electromagnetic principles to identify surface defects. 

We offer Pulsed Eddy Current inspections to further assess your pipework. This involves using the EddyFi Lyft system to screen large sections of pipe for volumetric wall loss. 

3. Magnetic flux leakage 

Magnetic Particle Inspection, or MPI, is employed to spot surface irregularities in ferromagnetic materials. 

Our magnetic flux leakage inspections use the Pipescan HD to detect corrosion levels and pitting on your equipment.

4. Robotic inspection 

Robotics offers innovative solutions for inspecting hard-to-reach or hazardous areas. 

Robots equipped with cameras and sensors can navigate through pipelines, providing high-resolution imagery and data. 

This technology is particularly useful for inspecting pipelines in challenging environments, such as offshore or in chemical plants.

In conjunction with our partners, WRc Infrastructure, we use a tethered crawler, which can be deployed underwater and on land, to carry out visual inspections (via CCTV) and remote sensing non-destructive testing. 

We also use a free-swimming robot which is equipped with sensors capable of full internal inspection for pipelines of any fluid. It identifies metal loss in pipe walls, including the presence of deposits and internal corrosion.

Pipeline condition assessment: taking a holistic approach 

The future of pipe maintenance is being reshaped by innovative pipe condition assessment methods. 

These technologies are enabling us to monitor pipelines more effectively, detect issues early, and take proactive measures to ensure the safety and reliability of our critical infrastructure. 

With the ongoing development of advanced tools and the integration of artificial intelligence, the pipeline industry is poised for a revolution that will benefit both operators and the environment. 

As we embrace these changes, we can look forward to a safer and more efficient pipeline network for generations to come.

Responsive testing that delivers assurance that your equipment is safe.

Contact us for a quality testing service with a fast report turnaround. We can respond to any challenge.

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